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Educational scaff olding as a form of dynamic, situation-based intervention by the teacher in the learning process of pupils creates an interesting area for exploring specifi c individually conditioned forms of support that can be captured in the interaction between teachers and pupils in the classroom. With regard to its content and importance, however, the broad conceptualisation of scaff olding as a strategy representing all possible forms and sources of facilitation of a pupil's learning calls the method into doubt. Specifi c features that would fulfi l this strategy's original importance and the role it plays in the learning process, specifi cally in the zone of proximal development, are obscured by this broad conceptualisation. We attempt to gain a better understanding of the wider conceptual framework of scaff olding, which is generally defi ned as learning support, by way of recording strategies and procedures that are employed in practice and which pupils, teachers, and independent observers identify as supporting elements. Th e results of the empirical survey presented in this paper focus on a specifi c research question related to the perspective from which pupils in primary education themselves see learning support. Our aim was to ascertain how pupils of a younger school age subjectively respond to and describe the importance and sources of support used in the teaching process. In terms of methodology, we applied the phenomenological approach. Data was collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 104 pupils of younger school age ranging from six to 11 years old. For data analysis, we used a qualitative structuring technique with the creation of inductive categories. A content analysis of the data made it possible to generate four key categories of learning support sources. Th e fi rst, named "Absence of Fear", showed the importance of emotional support, in the form of the need for encouragement, praise, and chances to succeed, and, at the same time, the threat of the fear of failure, errors, or bad marks. Th e second category, named "Again and Again", viewed a specifi c social-historical feature of Czech school education in the form of routine repetition, revision, and practice of the curriculum. Th e importance of the social context of peer learning was coded in our data under the title "I'll Ask Denis". Th e signifi cance of the illustrative nature of didactic aims in the form of pictures, drawings, maps, or stories, named by pupils, forms the core of the fourth and last category, called "Visualisation".
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553
DOI: 10.14712/23362189.2020.1694
R S
Pedagogika, 2020, 70(4), 553–568
http://pages.pedf.cuni.cz/pedagogika/
Educational Sca olding in Primary Education
from the Perspective of Younger-Aged
School Pupils
A S, T G, O Š, Z S
Abstract: Educational sca olding as aform of dynamic, situation-based intervention by
the teacher in the learning process of pupils creates an interesting area for exploring speci c indi-
vidually conditioned forms of support that can be captured in the interaction between teachers
and pupils in the classroom. With regard to its content and importance, however, the broad
conceptualisation of sca olding as astrategy representing all possible forms and sources of facili-
tation of apupil’s learning calls the method into doubt. Speci c features that would ful l this
strategy’s original importance and the role it plays in the learning process, speci cally in the zone
of proximal development, are obscured by this broad conceptualisation. We attempt to gain abet-
ter understanding of the wider conceptual framework of sca olding, which is generally de ned
as learning support, by way of recording strategies and procedures that are employed in practice
and which pupils, teachers, and independent observers identify as supporting elements.  e results
of the empirical survey presented in this paper focus on aspeci c research question related to the
perspective from which pupils in primary education themselves see learning support. Our aim
was to ascertain how pupils of ayounger school age subjectively respond to and describe the im-
portance and sources of support used in the teaching process. In terms of methodology, we applied
the phenomenological approach. Data was collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews
with 104 pupils of younger school age ranging from six to 11 years old. For data analysis, we used
aqualitative structuring technique with the creation of inductive categories. Acontent analysis
of the data made it possible to generate four key categories of learning support sources.  e rst,
named “Absence of Fear”, showed the importance of emotional support, in the form of the need
for encouragement, praise, and chances to succeed, and, at the same time, the threat of the fear of
failure, errors, or bad marks.  e second category, named “Again and Again”, viewed aspeci c
social-historical feature of Czech school education in the form of routine repetition, revision, and
practice of the curriculum.  e importance of the social context of peer learning was coded in our
data under the title “I’ll Ask Denis”.  e signi cance of the illustrative nature of didactic aims in
the form of pictures, drawings, maps, or stories, named by pupils, forms the core of the fourth and
last category, called “Visualisation”.
Keywords: sca olding, learning support, zone of proximal development, emotional sca old-
ing, visual sca olding
554
Seberová, A., Göbelová, T., Šimik, O., Sikorová, Z.
INTRODUCTION
e identi cation and capturing of
sca olding strategies as tools of learn-
ing support for pupils belong among the
problems that are frequently addressed in
pedagogical research abroad (van de Pol,
Volman, & Beishuizen, 2010).  is con-
struct has been neglected in the Czech
professional environment so far; however,
there have been some partial studies fo-
cusing, for example, on teaching interac-
tion and communication, or on teaching
in the form of dialogues, where the term
sca olding is mentioned (Šeďová, 2011). It
appears more often in studies and didactic
materials focusing on the teaching of for-
eign languages. It is used there as atool in
the development of language skills (Cho-
cholatá, 2012). We can also mention re-
search focused on the use of sca olding
strategies in teaching materials (Sikorová,
2016; Sikorová & Červenková, 2016).
e construct of sca olding is not
clearly conceptualised and is even called
into question by some authors, especially
for its rather metaphorical signi cance
or overly broad speci cation in terms of
content (Stone, 1998). Puntambekar and
Hübscher (2005) state that the terms scaf-
folding and support are increasingly often
being used as synonyms, which creates
problems as it does not enable adeep un-
derstanding of the potential of sca olding
as aspeci c tool to foster pupils’ learning.
We attempt to gain a better under-
standing of the wider conceptual frame-
work of sca olding, which is generally
de ned as learning support, by way of
recording the strategies and procedures
employed in practice that pupils, teach-
ers, and independent observers identify as
supporting elements.  e subjectively and
objectively re ected forms of support for
pupils’ learning will subsequently make it
possible to describe and explain the spe-
ci c features of sca olding as one of many
educational strategies.
e results of the empirical survey
presented in this paper focus on aspeci c
research question related to the perspec-
tive from which pupils in primary educa-
tion themselves see such learning support.
Our aim was to ascertain how pupils of
younger school age subjectively respond to
and describe the importance and sources of
support used in the teaching process.
THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
We consider it important to base our
theoretical starting point for the con-
cept of sca olding on the original stud-
ies and theses of Vygotsky and Bruner,
as these have been essentially devalued
by the repeated interpretations made by
other authors of academic articles and by
other researchers through a broadening
of the characteristic traits and essence of
the original conceptualisation and opera-
tionalisation of sca olding, a broadening
that has led more to obfuscation than to
the clear comprehension of sca olding
as aspeci c phenomenon in the learning
process (Stone, 1998; Pea, 2004; van de
Pol et al., 2010).
e application of the sca olding met-
aphor is ascribed to Jerome Bruner and
555
Educational Sca olding in Primary Education from the Perspective of Younger-Aged School Pupils
his colleagues David Wood and Gail Ross
(Wood et al., 1976). In their article, they
described the results of research focusing
on asystematic description of how chil-
dren react to various forms of support-
ing elements that are o ered to them as
useful when dealing with various tasks.
Bruner, inspired by Lev Vygotsky, set the
tasks in his experiment to be such that the
children were not able to handle them at
that time. However, when the children re-
ceived some help, the solution of the tasks
made it possible to develop ahigher level
of cognitive skills located in the zone of
proximal development (hereinafter referred
to as ZPD).
Bruner made use of two key premises
of Vygotsky’s theory of the sociocultural
conditionality of cognitive development
and of the precondition that the child’s
learning cannot be carried out without
the aid of external stimulation, social in-
teraction, and communication (Vygotskij,
1976a, b).  us, the current support pro-
vided by the teacher and used by the pupil
in order to solve the tasks plays acertain
initiation role, allowing the activation of
the lat ent capacity of the pupil in the form
of his or her cognitive development poten-
tial located in the ZPD.
Typical features and functions
of sca olding
e pupil’s latent capacity in the en-
vironment of the ZPD is as individually
preconditioned as are the sca olding tools
that may help the pupil to activate this ca-
pacity.  erefore, it is not easy to capture
auniversal mechanism or system of scaf-
folding tools suitable for, and universally
applicable to, all pupils.
As regards sca olding, this concerns
speci c, individually and situationally
conditioned help provided by the teacher
to pupils, who, during the teaching in-
teraction and communication with the
teacher, actively participate in the realisa-
tion of the learning activities and solving
of tasks, within which the pupils are fully-
edged participants in their own learning
and the teacher acts as asituational diag-
nostician of each pupil’s individual learn-
ing needs.
During their experiment, Wood,
Bruner, and Ross (1976, p. 206) named
the six principal functions of sca old-
ing: (a) To gain, strengthen and maintain
the pupil’s motivation when dealing with
atask; (b) to minimise those parts or stag-
es of the task that the pupil cannot solve
without help; (c) to maintain the pupil’s
e orts to complete the task; (d) to discuss
the critical moments of the task with the
pupil; (e) to eliminate the pupil’s anxiety
and stress; (f) to discuss the anticipated
result of the task with the pupil and ex-
plicitly formulate the criteria for the task
solution.
If the pupil does not use the sup-
porting tool that is o ered, that does
not necessarily mean that the tool is not
sca olding-based.  e ability to make use
of supporting tools to solve atask is asso-
ciated with the ZPD, i.e. it is speci cally
and individually preconditioned and, in
addition, it is based on the current cogni-
tive level of the pupil. An important role
556
is played by what are called dynamic di-
agnostics, which allows the teacher or ex-
perimenter to view the ZPD and decide,
during the solution of the interactive task,
on the demands of the task as well as on
the sca olding tools allowing the pupil to
solve the task.
e need for speci c, situation-based
help related to the individually precon-
ditioned process of the pupil’s learning
makes some authors cast doubt upon the
broad conceptualisation of sca olding,
which might be used as auniversal teach-
ing and learning strategy. We would have
to be able to predict the course of the pu-
pil’s learning, including all the di culties
occurring in that process, which is not
very likely. What we can anticipate, how-
ever, is the teacher’s ability to diagnose
the pupil’s di culties during the learning
process and provide the pupil with asuit-
able form of support or help.
e contingency principle is perceived
by experts as an identifying symbol or
condition that must occur to make it pos-
sible to set up a sca olding strategy. In
terms of signi cance, the contingency con-
struct is associated with acertain sensitiv-
ity of the teacher to the pupil’s learning
di culties or to obstacles that unpredict-
ably occur when dealing with the learning
task (van de Pol et al., 2010, 2015). Van de
P ol et al. (2015, p.619) explicitly write, in
the case of sca olding, about what they
call contingent support.
In that context, the concepts of what
are called hard and soft sca olding have
been discussed and several experts have
cast doubt on them (Saye & Brush, 2002).
Hard sca olding, as what is called astatic
form of support, is, in the view of Saye &
Brush (2002), predictable. It  ows from
the experience of the teacher, from the
di culties that have already arisen for
pupils when solving similar tasks. Soft
sca olding, as adynamic form of support,
corresponds to the characteristic trait of
contingency. It is associated with the situ-
ationally conditioned, present-moment
learning need of the pupil. Hard sca old-
ing, however, essentially denies the con-
tingency principle as aconditional trait of
sca olding.
In Figure 1 below, we can see the po-
sition of the sca olding strategy in the
broader conceptual framework as apart of
aprocess, during which (i) the interactive
reactivity of the teacher to the pupil’s learn-
ing di culties, which are hard to predict;
(ii) the identi cation and diagnostics of
those di culties by the teacher, and (iii) the
choice of asca olding strategy occur (Pea,
2004; van de Pol et al., 2010, p.274).
By indicating the individual learning
stages, which include the incorporation
of asca olding strategy as atool for the
development of higher skills, we reach
another typical feature that makes scaf-
folding di erent from other tools used
for support, namely its time limitation,
the fact that it is only temporary. What
is called the fading principle can also be
called weakening or dying away, and it oc-
curs when the pupil is able to solve the
task on his/her own and shows the neces-
sary level of internalisation of higher lev-
els of skills, and thus the support provided
to the pupil can be withdrawn. However,
Seberová, A., Göbelová, T., Šimik, O., Sikorová, Z.
557
the pupil can continue using, e.g., the al-
gorithm of helpful steps provided by the
teacher within sca olding. Such an algo-
rithm then becomes the pupil’s internal
language (Vygotskij, 1978a, b), and the
pupil continues using it in order to solve
the tasks, but does so independently and
thus assumes responsibility for his/her own
learning. Weakening of support and the as-
sumption of responsibility for the pupil’s
own learning are usually considered the
last stage of the learning process (iv), in
which sca olding plays acentral role.
We believe that understanding scaf-
folding as apart of the learning process,
and not only as aone-time phenomenon,
is an initial precondition for the deeper
understanding and empirical capturing
of it.
METHODOLOGY
Methodologically, we used aphenom-
enological approach to analyse the data.
Because of its qualitative, inductive char-
acter, this approach enables us to capture
evidence of reality and its subjective in-
terpretation from the perspective of the
participants themselves. We attempted to
capture the phenomenon of learning sup-
port both as it appears and as it is under-
stood in immediate contact and in natural
contexts from its foundations and without
the subjective burden of the researcher.
Figure 1 Conceptual model of the sca olding process (van de Pol et al., 2010, p.274)
Educational Sca olding in Primary Education from the Perspective of Younger-Aged School Pupils
558
Data was collected through in-depth,
semi-structured interviews with 104 pupils
of younger school age ranging from six to
11 years old.  e structure of the research
sample in terms of the primary education
years and gender is indicated in Table 1.
e interviews were held between Sep-
tember 2017 and May 2019.
Semi-structured individual interviews
with pupils from selected classes of the
primary school were conducted using the
following basic questions:
Who or what helps you learn?
Who or what helps you to complete
tasks in lessons? In homework?
What help doyou need from your
teacher at school?
What concrete things does the teach-
er do? How does the teacher help you at
school?
What help doyou need from your
teacher directly during lessons? In the in-
dividual subjects (Maths, Czech, Natural
Science, National History)?
What concrete things does the teacher
do, e.g., in maths lessons? How does the
teacher help you in maths lessons?
For the purposes of the content-based
data analysis we used the qualitative struc-
turing technique with the creation of in-
ductive categories by Mayring (2000). For
the individual parts of the analysed data
obtained through the interviews, we cre-
ated categories in an inductive manner on
the basis of the content similarity at three
levels of structuring. In the rst stage,
called formal structuring, we used the for-
mal thematic point of view in order to ana-
lyse the internal structure of the material.
is was followed by the second stage,
content structuring, where the de ned con-
tent of the material was determined and
marked through theoretically prepared
principal categories, and in the third stage
of the analysis we carried out standardis-
ing structuring, during which we created
“types” as titles of every category, which
we completed with authentic statements
of the respondents.
e arrangement of the individual cate-
gories when being interpreted does not cor-
respond to their level of content saturation.
We did not intend to evaluate the frequency
of the statements in the individual catego-
ries; we wanted to capture all the available
nuances associated with learning support by
the participants in the school environment,
i.e. primary education pupils.
Table 1 Characteristics of the research  le of pupils of younger school age
Pupils of a younger school age Girls Boys
1. primary school year 10 6
2. primary school year 11 7
3. primary school year 13 17
4. primary school year 11 9
5. primary school year 8 12
Total 53 51
Seberová, A., Göbelová, T., Šimik, O., Sikorová, Z.
559
RESULTS
During the data collection in the
form of interviews with pupils we no-
ticed an interesting fact.  e  rst re-
action to the questions regarding the
support and help that the pupils re-
ected on in the context of learning it-
self was generally unsure, and the most
frequent answer was “I don’t know.
A basically essential, initial, and, at
rst sight, simple question regarding
the pupils’ daily experience turned out
to be di cult for them to answer. We
were aware of the risk associated with
a generally formulated question, but
we were led by our e orts to capture
the learning support phenomenon in
the signi cance attributed to it by the
participants themselves on the basis of
their subjectively re ected experience.
Finally, we managed to capture such
experience, and the result of the analy-
sis consists of the four basic categories
speci ed below, which make it possible
to view the individual experience and
statements of the pupils.
Absence of Fear” – trust, ease,
safety...
“It would help me if we didn’t get any
marks. I wish I weren’t nervous about get-
ting a bad mark. e pupils especially
named, as an example of emotional ten-
sion, their fear of admitting amistake, of
making amistake, and the related fear of
receiving abad mark.
Akey stage of the sca olding process
is identifying and diagnosing the pupil’s
di culties, leading to a decision as re-
gards the choice of asupporting sca old-
ing strategy (van de Pol et al., 2010). If we
consider supporting the pupil’s learning,
we consider individual, situation-based
help that the teacher is only able to give
at the moment when the mistakes that are
identi ed occur during the procedure of
solving the learning tasks.  is is akey
precondition of learning which cannot be
avoided if we respect the pupil’s learning
premises as set forth by Vygotskij (1978a,
b). In their experiments, Vygotsky, as well
as Bruner, generally used as a basis the
mistakes the pupil made when dealing
Table 2 Structure of learning support categories as viewed by pupils of younger school age
Absence of Fear” – trust, ease, safety...
“I wish I weren’t nervous about getting a bad mark...”
Again and Again” – a learning strategy that helps me...
“Revise more and practise at home.”
“I’ll Ask Denis” - communication, cooperation, sharing...
“When I am a member of a team, it helps me, and a friend sometimes explains it better to me than the teacher...”
“Visualisation” – mnemonic devices and multi-sensory learning...
“I found multiplication very di cult, so you helped me using those pieces of wood. I could see it physically...”
Educational Sca olding in Primary Education from the Perspective of Younger-Aged School Pupils
560
with the learning tasks, with the aim of
specifying the ZPD exactly and choosing
which sca olding supporting tools could
be used e ectively.
Wood, Bruner, and Ross (1976) deter-
mined that the elimination of pupils’ anxi-
ety and stress is akey function of sca olding.
What has been called emotional sca olding
(Yelland & Masters, 2007; Badošek, 2016)
relates to one of its key functions, namely,
e orts to support and maintain the pupil’s
motivation and activation when overcom-
ing the di culties faced when dealing
with learning tasks. Basically, these are the
situations that the pupils in our research
le commented on as follows: “When the
teacher is shouting that we are doing some-
thing wrong” or “Idon’t like it when the
teacher is rushing the curriculum” and are
counter-productive. As regards the sup-
port and help that the teacher provides to
the pupil, let us consider it the basis of the
trust, openness, and security that is then
re ected by the pupils of younger school
age in our research sample.  e empha-
sis on performance in connection with
established evaluation criteria, however,
forms a speci c socio-cultural feature of
Czech education, and this aspect must
be monitored more deeply, as it creates
asocial-historical context of pupils’ learn-
ing, forming the premise of the theory by
Vygotsky.
Again and Again” – alearning
strategy that helps me...
“It would be helpful if I could prac-
tise it every day... revise more and practise
at home... I’ ll keep trying...”. e speci c
strategies used by the pupils in our re-
search sample donot form astrongly
saturated category in terms of frequency.
e answers concentrated in this category
were not colourful, or interesting, or new
for us. However, they might form a spe-
ci c socio-historical feature accompany-
ing the reality of Czech school education
in the long term. Here the principle of
repetition is concerned, as well as the need
to continuously revise and practise newly-
gained knowledge and skills: When Iam
not good at something, Ineed to practise
it...”.
e theory of the culturally precon-
ditioned development of higher mental
functions assumes that the child, during
his/her development, further internalises
and uses the forms and models of behav-
iour that others have used before when
interacting with the child. “Every mental
function appears twice on the stage during
the child’s cultural development, and at two
levels –  rst at the social one, then at the
psychological one,  rst among people as an
inter-psychical category, then in the child’s
heart as an intra-psychical category.” (Vy-
gotskij, 1976a, p.121).
e question is, however, whether
the form of acertain routine revision and
practising of the new curriculum is con-
nected to the teaching strategy mediated
to pupils by teachers, or whether it forms
a speci c learning strategy preferred by
pupils for whom the process of acquiring
new skills and knowledge is still beyond
their latent capacity. In such an event,
however, those pupils would not be able to
Seberová, A., Göbelová, T., Šimik, O., Sikorová, Z.
561
solve the learning tasks even if they were
provided with external help. According to
Bruner, the experiential basis for dealing
with tasks with higher operating demands
forms the current level of the cognitive
functions and the system of acquired
knowledge and skills already internalised.
Without that basis, pupils choosing asup-
porting strategy donot prefer “blind imi-
tation of the model solution of anew task
as demonstrated by the teacher (Wood et
al., 1976, p.99).
Understanding the signi cance of rou-
tine revision and practice in the learning
process of pupils of younger school age is
made rather complicated by the tradition-
al, basically rigid approach in the form of
frontal teaching, within which learning
activities are designed in the same manner
for all pupils regardless of their individual
learning needs, i.e., regardless of their cur-
rent condition and, in particular, regard-
less of the latent capacity of the cognitive
development of every single pupil.
“I’ll Ask Denis” – communication,
cooperation, sharing...
“When I don’t know what to do next,
I ask Denis, and then I understand it...
A friend sometimes explains it to me bet-
ter than the teacher... Friends can explain
it better and it is more fun than the teacher’s
explanation...”.
Vygotsky’s initial proposition that the
development of an individual cannot be
isolated from the individual’s social and
cultural context (Vygotskij, 1976b) clearly
refers to the relationship framework of
a pupil’s school education, and it might
be anticipated that the social context of
learning somehow demonstrates itself in
pupils’ subjective interpretations.  is was
arich category in our data set. What took
us by surprise, however, was its embodi-
ment in the dimension of mutual, partner
learning.
Neither Vygotsky nor Bruner talks
about the key role of an adult in the pu-
pil’s learning process; they talk about
the role of a more experienced or a more
knowledgeable partner.  e pupils in our
research set only mentioned the role of
afriend or a schoolmate who can medi-
ate understanding to them.  e teacher’s
role demonstrated itself as rather belong-
ing to the area of the elimination of fear
and the creation of asupportive, safe envi-
ronment. Research conducted by Collins
(2006) and Falkesgaard Slot (2015) also
indicates the irreplaceable signi cance of
what is called social sca olding in the con-
text of using collaboration among pupils
and cooperative instruction.
“Visualisation” – mnemonic
devices and multi-sensory
learning...
“When the teacher shows it to me on the
board ... When Icount it using my  ngers ...
When Ihad problems with multiplication,
you helped me with those pieces of wood and
Icould see it physically ...
e core of the fourth and last cat-
egory consists of a principle that proved
to be essential in the statements made by
the primary school pupils in our set: the
Educational Sca olding in Primary Education from the Perspective of Younger-Aged School Pupils
562
illustrative nature principle. e pupils
mentioned particular examples of didactic
material in the form of pictures, drawings,
tables, charts, or maps.  e illustrative na-
ture principle was always mentioned in
this context, as it helps pupils overcome
their learning di culties.
Alibali (2006) includes visual scaf-
folds among the basic types of support-
ing strategies used in addition to concept
maps and mental maps, variable kinds of
clues in the form of hints, examples, tips,
stories, or additional explanations.  e
list also includes mnemonic devices, which
were also mentioned by the respondents
in our research sample. Let us give an ex-
ample.
In the maths lessons of the third year
of primary school, pupils were developing
their knowledge of the number 2 in the
multiplication table.  e teacher anticipat-
ed various levels of acquiring that knowl-
edge and o ered pupils an aid in the form
of Table 4 below.  e pupils could use
the table when dealing with arithmetical
problems. It turned out that pupils who
had already acquired the knowledge did
not use the table at all during the lessons,
while, on the contrary, some pupils used
it all the time.  is example is seemingly
trivial. However, it shows the above-men-
tioned principle of an illustrative nature
with amnemonic potential, and, in addi-
tion, we can capture here a stage of the
sca olding process called fading, which is
quite hard to identify. It is explained here
as the gradual withdrawal of the support-
ing tool that is provided once the pupil
does not need it any longer, as he/she has
already internalised the acquired knowl-
edge/skill, which had been part of the
ZPD until that time and thus the pupil
had not been able to use it without exter-
nal help (Vygotskij, 1976a, b).
It is di cult or sometimes even im-
possible to identify a piece of didactic
material as asca olding material without
direct monitoring of the lessons in which
it is used, without capturing the process of
dealing with learning tasks and the forms
of interaction between the teacher and the
pupil.  is problem is also connected with
the identi cation of sca olding strategies
in textbooks or in other textual sources if
Figure 2 Illustrative mnemonic device for acquiring
knowledge of the multiplication table
Seberová, A., Göbelová, T., Šimik, O., Sikorová, Z.
563
we were to analyse them ad hoc without
capturing an actual teaching context.
We believe certain types of aids may
ful l demands for sca olding aids that
are otherwise hard to capture.  e above-
mentioned example of an aid may be
marked as asca olding tool for two rea-
sons. Primarily, it is intended as an aid for
the acquiring of new knowledge and skills
or, if the pupil has any learning di cul-
ties, as an aid helping the pupil to solve
alearning task on his/her own – the  rst
stage of sca olding.  e pupil uses the aid
as long as he/she needs it, until the last
stage of sca olding, which is called fading.
CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION
Our objective was to examine pu-
pils’ learning support possibilities from
the perspective of the pupils’ actual
experience, and to interpret the identi-
ed sources of support in the context
of the principles of sca olding as aspe-
ci c concept, realistically re ecting the
principles of sociocultural, constructive
theories of learning and teaching.
Content analysis of the data made it
possible to generate four key categories
of learning support sources.  e  rst,
named “Absence of Fear”, showed the
importance of emotional support in the
form of the need for encouragement,
praise, and chances to succeed, and, at
the same time, the threat of the fear of
failure, errors, or bad marks.
e signi cance of emotional scaf-
folding as aspeci c form of learning sup-
port is frequently mentioned in special-
ised resources (Jumaat & Tasir, 2014).
e elimination of pupils’ anxiety and
stress is one of the principal functions of
the sca olding strategies (Wood et al.,
1976; Pressley, Harris, & Marks, 1992).
It is mentioned as an initial premise of
the pupil’s e ective learning, without
which the process cannot be diagnosed,
facilitated, or controlled. As viewed by
the pupils in our research sample, the
support of learning especially consists
of the absence of fear or anxiety and
concern about mistakes or failure. In
Bruner’s words, “Dealing with problems
with ateacher should be less dangerous or
stressful than without one.” (Wood et al.,
1976, p.98).
e second category, named “Again
and Again”, the title of which was de-
rived from the authentic statement of
apupil, contains individually framed
procedures that the pupils re ected on
as supporting and helpful. e content
of the category is not saturated in terms
of frequency or variability as regards the
procedures used, but points out speci c
sociocultural and probably also social-
historical features of Czech school edu-
cation. Here we are discussing general-
ised strategies associated with the need
for continuous revision and practising of
the curriculum.
What remains unanswered is the ques-
tion of whe ther or not w e ha ve c ome acro ss
the traditional, transmissive conception of
teaching here, versus aconstructivist one,
in our e orts to gain abetter understand-
ing of the signi cance of this category:
passive memorising and routine practis-
Educational Sca olding in Primary Education from the Perspective of Younger-Aged School Pupils
564
ing of asingle model solution versus ac-
tive learning, searching for problems and
procedures to solve them, evaluating and
asking questions.  ese are two di erent
paradigms representing completely dif-
ferent explanations of the gist and nature
of human learning and its conditions. Is
it at all possible to capture and identify
sca olding strategies based on the social-
constructivist approach within tradition-
ally transmissive-designed teaching? We
would like to  nd the answers to those
questions in follow-up research.
e importance of the social context
of peer learning was coded in our data
under the title “I’ll Ask Denis”. Pupils re-
sponded spontaneously to positive experi-
ences with paired or cooperative learning
and the possibilities of having their work
explained by their classmates. Vygotsky’s
theory is based on the concept of learn-
ing as a culturally and socially medi-
ated activity that is initiated interactively
through external help and stimulation
(1976a, b).  is initial proposition proved
to be true in our research.  e research
by Collins (2006) and Falkesgaard Slot
(2015) also emphasises its anchoring ex-
actly in the form of support and help pro-
vided by schoolmates and friends.
e illustrative nature principle with
mnemonic potential created the core
of the fourth and last category.  is is
avery saturated category with potential
for further research, as it points out the
signi cance of visualisation in the process
of pupils’ learning and the role that visu-
alisation plays in didactic aids and ma-
terials. Visual sca olds play an essential
role in sca olding aid typologies. Alibali
(2006) includes in these, for example,
charts and graphs as aids with visual
information, stories, pictures, maps, or
schemes.
SUMMARY
e theoretical analysis speci ed
above implies that it is necessary to de-
ne sca olding as astage of the learning
process including the following: asensi-
tive reaction of the teacher to the pupil’s
learning di culties diagnostics and eval-
uation of the di culties or obstacles when
dealing with a learning task – the choice
and use of supporting sca olding strategies
– internalisation of the acquired skills asso-
ciated with agradual weakening of support
and thus the pupil’s assuming responsibil-
ity for his/her learning (van de Pol et al.,
2010).
Sca olding concerns dynamic in-
tervention that is attuned to the indi-
vidually preconditioned learning pro-
gress of every single pupil, which is, in
addition, in uenced by a number of
situation-based factors.  e choice and
use of asca olding strategy is strongly
preconditioned by that individuality;
therefore, it cannot be applied in the
same way in di erent teaching situ-
ations or considered a universal sup-
porting teaching strategy (van de Pol
et al., 2010).  e conceptualisation and
operationalisation of the sca olding
construct must be based on the original
paradigmatic bases of the sociocultural
conditionality of learning as determined
Seberová, A., Göbelová, T., Šimik, O., Sikorová, Z.
565
by Vygotskij (1976a, b) and then devel-
oped by Bruner (Wood et al., 1976) or
Galperin (1969).
Our aim was to look at forms and
sources of learning support from the
perspective of pupils’ actual experience
and to try to interpret them in the con-
text of the principles and functions of
sca olding as described in social-cog-
nitive theories of learning and teaching.
e sources and forms of learning sup-
port that were captured made it possible
to identify theoretically anchored types
of sca olding strategies in the emotional,
social, and visual dimensions. However,
we did not penetrate more deeply into
the possibility of diagnosing the pupil’s
zone of proximal development, which
plays the central role in the choice and
use of the sca olding supporting tools.
It is only in this context that it is possible
to clearly identify the speci c features of
sca olding correctly as one form of sup-
port for pupils’ learning. We believe that
it is very di cult to identify the forms
and resources of learning as “sca old-
ing” ones without direct monitoring
of teaching and without capturing the
process of the solving of learning tasks
by the pupils in interaction with the
teacher, amentor, or amore experienced
schoolmate.
R
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Alena Seberová
Department of Pre-Primary and Primary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ostrava,
Czech Republic; e-mail: alena.seberova@osu.cz
Taťána Göbelová
Department of Pre-Primary and Primary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ostrava,
Czech Republic
Ondřej Šimik
Department of Pre-Primary and Primary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ostrava,
Czech Republic
Zuzana Sikorová
Department of Education and Andragogy, Faculty of Education, University of Ostrava, Czech Republic
SEBEROVÁ, A., GÖBELOVÁ, T., ŠIMIK, O., SIKOROVÁ, Z. Výukový
sca olding vprimárním vzdělávání optikou žáků mladšího školního věku
Výukový sca olding jako forma dynamické, situačně podmíněné intervence učitele doproce-
su žákova učení vytváří zajímavý terén pro zkoumání speci ckých, individuálně podmíněných
forem podpory, které je možné při interakci učitele ažáka vevýuce zachytit. Svým obsahem avý-
znamem široká konceptualizace sca oldingu jako strategie reprezentující všechny možné formy
azdroje facilitace žákova učení však vede kjeho zpochybňování. Dochází kzastírání speci ckých
znaků, jež by naplnily jeho původní význam aúlohu, kterou sehrává vprocesu učení, konkrétně
vzóně nejbližšího vývoje. Naší snahou je lépe porozumět významově širšímu kontextuálnímu
rámci sca oldingu, kterým je právě obecněji de novaná podpora učení, ato prostřednictvím
zachycení vpraxi využívaných strategií apostupů, které jako podpůrné identi kují žáci, učitelé
anezávislí pozorovatelé. Výsledky empirického šetření prezentované vtomto příspěvku jsou zamě-
řeny naspeci ckou výzkumnou otázku vztahující se koptice, kterou nahlíží napodporu učení
samotní žáci primárního vzdělávání. Našim záměrem bylo zjistit, jak žáci mladšího školního
věku subjektivně re ektují apopisují význam azdroje podpory, které využívají vprocesu učení.
Metodologicky jsme vycházeli zfenomenologického přístupu. Kesběru dat jsme využili hloubko
polostrukturované rozhovory se 104 žáky mladšího školního věku vrozmezí 6–11 let. Kanalýze
Educational Sca olding in Primary Education from the Perspective of Younger-Aged School Pupils
568
dat jsme využili kvalitativní techniku strukturace stvorbou induktivních kategorií. Obsahová
analýza dat umožnila generovat čtyři klíčové kategorie zdrojů podpory učení. První, kódovaná
jako „Absence strachu“, ukázala význam emoční podpory vpodobě potřeby povzbuzení, pochvaly
ašancí naúspěch asoučasně hrozby strachu zneúspěchu, chyby či známky. Druhá kategorie
„Znovu aznovu“ nahlédla speci cký, sociohistorický rys českého školního vzdělávání vpodobě ru-
tinního opakování aprocvičování osvojovaného učiva. Význam sociálního kontextu partnerského
učení byl vnašich datech kódován výrokem „Zeptám se Denise“. Žáky pojmenovaný význam
názornosti udidaktických pomůcek vpodobě nákresů, obrázků, map nebo příběhů tvoří jádro
poslední, čtvrté kategorie snázvem „Vizualizace“.
Klíčová slova: sca olding, podpora učení, zóna nejbližšího vývoje, emocionální sca olding,
vizuální sca olding
Seberová, A., Göbelová, T., Šimik, O., Sikorová, Z.
... Educational scaffolding is the dynamic intervention the zone of proximal development in a situation-based intervention by the teacher in the learning process of students creates a useful area (e.g. by posing questions, answering, getting feedback etc.) for exploring specific individual and group forms of support that can be captured in the interaction between teachers and students in the classroom environment (Seberová, Göbelová, Šimik, & Sikorová, 2020). ...
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